The first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden is taking place today, during which the two candidates will face off on a number of issues.

The debates are essential viewing for anyone (hopefully, everyone) looking to further inform their political stance, and will be interesting viewing considering the first airs days after Trump nominated conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, and The New York Times' published its explosive report on the president's tax receipts.

Here's a breakdown of what to expect.


The first debate will air live at 9 pm ET and will run for 90 minutes. Fox News anchor Chris Wallace is moderating. The Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic are co-hosting the event at Cleveland's Health Education Campus. The audience will be limited with spacing between seats and the traditional post-debate gauntlet (aka "spin alley") between reporters and debate candidates and/or representatives will not take place.

What topics are up for debate?

Moderator Chris Wallace is a Fox News anchor who prides himself on the ability to piss off both political sides, and he's already managed to do so with his choice of six debate topics: the Supreme Court, the Trump and Biden records, Covid-19, the economy, electoral integrity, and "race and violence in our cities." The phrasing of the latter has provoked backlash for its pairing of systemic racism with false imagery of lawless Black violence. Elsewhere, Trump has attacked Wallace for being "controlled by the radical left," which he did without presenting any evidence.

They will not be discussing the climate crisis, which is outrageous considering that tropical storms are a dime a dozen these days, and draught fueled flames are savaging America as we speak.

How to watch

The presidential debates are broadcast simultaneously across all major networks and cable news programs: ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, PBS, Telemundo, Univision, CNN, MSNBC, and CSPAN. You can stream it on the networks YouTube channels and via apps on Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One, and so forth.

When are the next debates?

If you have to miss this debate for whatever reason, the next ones are scheduled for October 15 and October 22. There is a vice-presidential debate between Kamala Harris and Mike Pence taking place on October 7.

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